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Predicting the probability of elevated nitrate concentrations in the Puget Sound Basin: Implications for aquifer susceptibility and vulnerability

Ground Water

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Abstract

The occurrence and distribution of elevated nitrate concentrations (???3 mg/l) in ground water in the Puget Sound Basin, Washington, were determined by examining existing data from more than 3000 wells. Models that estimate the probability that a well has an elevated nitrate concentration were constructed by relating the occurrence of elevated concentrations to both natural and anthropogenic variables using logistic regression. The variables that best explain the occurrence of elevated nitrate concentrations were well depth, surficial geology, and the percentage of urban and agricultural land within a radius of 3.2 kilometers of the well. From these relations, logistic regression models were developed to assess aquifer susceptibility (relative ease with which contaminants will reach aquifer) and ground-water vulnerability (relative ease with which contaminants will reach aquifer for a given set of land-use practices). Both models performed well at predicting the probability of elevated nitrate concentrations in an independent data set. This approach to assessing aquifer susceptibility and ground-water vulnerability has the advantages of having both model variables and coefficient values determined on the basis of existing water quality information and does not depend on the assignment variables and weighting factors based on qualitative criteria.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Predicting the probability of elevated nitrate concentrations in the Puget Sound Basin: Implications for aquifer susceptibility and vulnerability
Series title:
Ground Water
Volume
35
Issue:
6
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Publisher:
Ground Water Publ Co
Publisher location:
Westerville, OH, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ground Water
First page:
1029
Last page:
1039
Number of Pages:
11